Sony may not be planning to release its next generation of virtual reality hardware anytime soon, but it offered a look at its work so far. A new blog post written by PlayStation Senior Vice President for Platform Planning & Management Hideaki Nishino revealed new images and details about the hardware’s PS5 VR controllers.
While the original, PS4-based PSVR hardware recycled older PS Move controller technology to manage its motion sensing capabilities, the PS5 VR controllers appears to use more contemporary technology. The new controllers are designed to be held in a player’s hands and somewhat resemble what you’d get if you took a Dualshock controller, split it into two pieces, and elongated it to form a frame around each hand. The controllers each have one analog stick, two face buttons (Triangle and Square on the left, and Circle and Cross on the right), and two “grip” buttons. The grip buttons correspond to the traditional controller’s shoulder buttons, but have been moved lower to accommodate a player’s gripping action.
The PS5 VR controller will also incorporate the PS5 DualSense controller’s haptic feedback and adaptive trigger technologies, which will allow greater sensitivity and a tangible sense of tension when pressed. They’ll also be able to detect when a player simply has their fingers placed on the buttons, without needing to press. This allows players to use more natural gesturing, such as opening or closing their hands. Like the Move controllers and motion-based controllers on competing VR hardware, the new PS5 VR controllers will also have wireless tracking, with the hardware able to detect the motion and position through a “tracking ring” placed across the bottom of the hardware.
At a glance, the devices actually look quite similar to current VR motion controller hardware, such as the Oculus Touch and Valve Index “Knuckle” controllers. While earlier VR controllers followed a more wand-like form factor (including the PSVR’s Move controllers), VR controller design has evolved to match the increased motion control sensitivity of new VR software. Games like Half-Life: Alyx allow for a more tactile experience, using hardware to let players seemingly grip virtual objects and simulating a more genuine sense of touch. Sony’s approach to its next-gen VR platform appears to be similar.
Though the PS5 hardware is available globally, its VR platform does not have a set release date. Moss, Paper Beast, and Astro Bot Rescue Mission, three games that use the PS4-based PSVR hardware will be given away for free as part of PlayStation’s Play at Home campaign.